EVANSTON, Ill. — Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser had a game to remember.
The Badgers' freshman had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double in school history, helping Wisconsin to a 78-46 victory over Northwestern on Sunday.
"Towards the last couple of minutes I had an idea that I was close and wanted just to get one more (assist) at the end," said Gasser, who got his final assist with 3 minutes to play. "Fortunately Brett (Valentyn) knocked it down. He missed one before that and told me he was going to get another."
Jon Leuer scored 19 points to lead a balanced attack for No. 18 Wisconsin. Keaton Nankivil had 16 points and Jordan Taylor added 14 as the Badgers (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) won their third straight game to remain third in the conference standings.
John Shurna and Luka Mirkovic scored 13 points apiece for the Wildcats (13-6, 3-5).
The Badgers broke the game open midway through the opening quarter and put it out of reach early in the second half. The victory was the Badgers' most lopsided in the Big Ten this season and game them four wins in five games.
Wisconsin broke a 14-all tie on Gasser's baseline 3-pointer at the 13-minute mark and the Badgers were off on a 15-4 run over the next 5:10 to open a 29-18 lead.
Forward Mike Bruesewitz scored seven points during the surge with one inside feed and two jumpers, including a 3-pointer. Taylor added back-to-back buckets, including his first 3 of the game.
The Badgers opened their biggest lead at 45-26 just before the half when Gasser picked up the ball in a scramble under his basket and put it in.
Wisconsin shot 62 percent (18 for 29) in the opening half, including 7 of 13 from beyond the arc. The Badgers outscored Northwestern 7-0 off turnovers and outrebounded the Wildcats 15-7.
Leuer had just two points in the first half, but scored 15 of Wisconsin's first 20 in the second half as the lead grew to 65-30 by the 12:58 mark.
The 32-point loss was Northwestern's largest of the season.
The Badgers shot 31 of 56 from the field (55.4 percent) and hit 12 of 26 3-point tries. The Wildcats were 17 of 41 (41.5 percent).
Wisconsin dominated statistically across the board, including advantages in rebounds (32-18), 3s (12-2), assists (22-9) and outscored Northwestern 11-0 on turnovers.
"We had a pretty good practice yesterday and looked crisp and sharp," Wildcats coach Bill Carmody said. "Then you come out and just never stop them.
"They got the shots no matter what defense they were playing. We never made them feel uncomfortable. Each time down the court is seemed they were in control."
NO. 21 WEST VIRGINIA 56, SOUTH FLORIDA 46: At Morgantown, W. Va., Casey Mitchell had 13 points and 14 rebounds to power West Virginia to the conference win.
John Flowers and Kevin Jones added 13 points apiece for West Virginia (13-5, 4-2 Big East). The Mountaineers bounced back from a 75-71 loss to Marshall on Wednesday after entering the Top 25 for the first time this season.
Augustus Gilchrist had his third straight double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds for South Florida (7-14, 1-7). The Bulls lost for the 11th time in 13 games and remain winless in nine road games.
Despite a solid defensive effort, West Virginia's 56 points were well below its season average of 75 and eight fewer than its previous low for the season, a 64-61 win at Duquesne on Dec. 12.